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BYOD: When Free Costs More

You'd think that a free device would cost less, but then the you would not be an IT pro. In the case of bring your own device (BYOD), of course it costs more to support these units and, of course, overall BYOD increases IT costs.

I'm sure you are not surprised that a survey by Lieberman Software had nearly 70 percent of those polled saying the devices ran up IT costs. I'm thinking the shops that didn't see costs increase had end users who only hopped on the network and didn't need to dig deep into corporate applications and used foolproof devices such as a iPad that don't need a lot of troubleshooting.

The guy behind Lieberman software, Phil Lieberman, likes to rattle a few cages with his comments. So while pundits pontificate kindly on the promise of BYOD, Phil has another take: BYOD hardware makers (especially Apple) are using this tactic to sneak in a door they haven't earned their way through.

"We've been here before," said Lieberman. "It's the same classic back door sales process used to promote PCs in the 1980s, where the large IT shops controlled both the glass house and what was on the desktops. Back then users and managers would show how PCs were better, faster and more flexible than the 'stone age' solutions offered by IT. Ultimately IT was forced to adopt PCs as their corporate standard. The new twist today is that the interlopers are devices that will always be owned by the consumer, not the company."

Where PCs have more than proven themselves, BYOD forces IT to make so with less than optimum security, Phil suggests.

Posted by Doug Barney on 08/08/2012 at 1:19 PM


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Reader Comments:

Thu, Aug 9, 2012

As a sysadmin I'm open to it, let it come. Yet it is the management that holds me back on it, directing me to spend my time on other things.

Wed, Aug 8, 2012 Sheldon NC

I think BYOD could work by using PC over IP. IT would need to come up with a minimum requirements that an employee's machine must meet. IT is then only responsible for ensuring PC over IP client worked and where applicable VPN and PC over IP worked.

Of course you will have those who cannot stand PC over IP, in which case IT provides them a machine just like now.

Wed, Aug 8, 2012 EVVJSK

I agree BYOD is not necessarily cheaper, but then again being a total Microsoft Shop (cost of Office vs OpenOffice), VDI, Terminal Services, CALs, etc... is also not usually cheaper. TCO is used when convenient for vendors and ignored when it is not conventient.

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